This posting is the first in a row of three which focus on Nigeria’s security problems. The objective is to outline a general phenomenon – ritual killings – not to focus on a specific murder case. Eventually, we will include specific examples of ritualistic acts, notably murders, known in Nigeria as ‘money-rituals’ (FVDK).
Nigeria: Curbing The Menace Of Ritual Killings In South West
The reported cases of missing persons are on the increase. Almost on a daily basis someone gets missing or killed and this has become a source of concern to most Nigerians. In this report, ALO ABIOLA, examines the menace and what could be done to check it.
Published: January 29, 2021
By: Leadership, For God And Country – Alo Abiola
When irate mob, made up of mostly youths stormed the Sotitobire Miracle Centre and razed it over a missing child known as Kolawole Gold, who was a year old in Ondo State allegedly killed for rituals, many had residents of the state had thought that the menace of ritual killing would be a thing of the past in the entire South West region.
More so, that the church building and other property worth millions of naira were set ablaze on the day of the attack. Two other houses located close to the church were also torched. About five cars, including a police van, were also burnt.
Alas, the reverse is the case. Innocent lives are still being lost to the activities of armed robbers, bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and particularly ritual killers, with little or no action taken by the government and security agencies to arrest the situation.
Killing for ritual purposes and dealing in human parts are gradually assuming an alarming rate in Nigeria and the trend calls for serious actions from government at all levels.
It has been discovered that people get involved in ritual killings for different reasons and purposes.
Observers opined that the basic reasons why people irrespective of gender, age, race, religion are into it, is the lust for money, power and fame.
To achieve their dream and make things happen fast, most of these people kill while others prefer to dig graves or visit mortuaries to remove needed human parts for rituals.
As the menace snowballs, cemetery guards and workers are said to be conniving with those who deal in human parts to exhume bodies and remove vital parts and place the body back into the grave.
Reports have it that some herbalists, especially those trading in herbal stuff and even influential Nigerians engage people to get human parts for them.
It is unfortunate that this is still happening despite the increased religious activities in the country and global technological advancement.
The issue came to fore again on Sunday, January 17, 2021, when a man, people claimed was a suspected kidnapper, was arrested in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital.
The yet-to- be identified man, who was arrested in an uncompleted three-storey building located opposite Ekiti State Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti was alleged to specialise in selling human parts.
It was gathered that pictures of the victims of the suspect, ATM cards, filled passbook leaflets, a damaged phone and a cow horn were found in his possession in the building.
Some residents of the area, who could not properly identify the suspect, accused him of feigning madness and disguising as a lunatic on the street, insisting that he was using the building for his evil acts.
It took the intervention of the police to rescue the suspect from being lynched by a mob at the scene.
Reacting to the development, the Ekiti State Police Command through its spokesman, Sunday Abutu, an assistant superintendent of police said the mental state of the suspect is being investigated.
He said, “Today being January 17, 2021 at about 1350hrs, information was received that an irate mob was about to lynch a suspect at the front of an uncompleted building, opposite Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado-Ekiti.
“The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) personnel swung into action immediately by moving to the scene. The suspect was rescued to the station where investigation is currently ongoing to ascertain the state of the mental health of the suspect, as he is currently showing a sign of somebody with an unsound mind.
“Items recovered from the suspect are: two damaged handsets, one cow horn, five bank cheque leaves, six ID cards, nine ATM cards of four banks, all belonging to seven different people.
“The command implores everyone to disregard the information that the suspect is a kidnapper until investigation is concluded while assuring the people of Ekiti State that the investigation will be extended to the psychiatric hospital for medical examination.
“The Ekiti State commissioner of police, Mr Tunde Mobayo, while advising citizens to avoid taking laws into their hands anytime a suspect is arrested, implores them to always report to the nearest police station, any person or group of persons suspected to be criminals found around their environment or call 08062335577.”
For Muyiwa Salako, a community leader in the state, with the proliferation of religious groups and faith -based organisations in our country, one would have expected that these heinous acts would have reduced drastically, but unfortunately the opposite is the case.
‘’Happenings in recent times have proved that some self-acclaimed religious leaders and clerics are evil men using religion as cover up.
There were several reported cases of such fake and false clerics who were involved in the evil act.
‘’Many of them were said to have worked in cahoot with herbalists and occult people to kill and bury the head or the entire body of their victims at the altar of their church or wherever they used for their religious gathering.
‘’This is to ensure the influx of new members into their fold from time to time.
‘’Thankfully, the long arm of law is fast catching up with some of these “pastors and alfas” who are being arrested for similar acts,’’ he said.
LEADERSHIP Friday learnt that several evil forests used as kidnappers’ and ritualists’ dens were discovered in some parts of the country by security agents, where fresh and decomposing human parts were recovered.
A few years ago, there was a surge in the mysterious killing of people in one of the Southwestern state by members of a dreaded cult group.
They allegedly stormed victims’ residences while they were asleep, hypnotised them and smashed the skulls of the victims with heavy stones after which they used a handkerchief to clean the blood and brain before leaving the scene.
Some suspects, arrested in connection with the killings, were said to have revealed that each handkerchief stained with blood was sold for N500,000 to wealthy politicians, businessmen, industrialists and other well-to-do Nigerians who use them to prepare spiritual defence rituals.
It was reported some time ago that a herbalist, arrested alongside some suspected ritual killers in the southern part of Nigeria, confessed that he was preparing concoction with human parts for his clients.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Friday on the recent incident, a resident of Ado Ekiti, Mr Akinola lamented that the abandoned building had been there for some time, saying it was not surprising that such a thing is happening there.
He called on the state government to confiscate the building if the owner was ready to complete it and put it to good use.
Another resident, Miss Tolani, said that it was the third time such an incident would be reported in the building and advised the state government to demolish it.